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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

OMG, you must see this film!

The latest activity in the nerd parade was another screening of a film from the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) Top TenSaint Ralph.

Written and directed by Michael McGowan, this relatively big budget film (Disclaimer: 6 million dollar budget – for all of the Canadian films I’ve seen this year, I think this had the biggest budget… which is not to say that 6 million is a big budget by anyone else’s standard, just for the ones that I’ve seen… if I’m wrong (601), feel free to correct me) was one of the films that led me to buy the Top Ten Passport. I’d missed the film during the regular TIFF, but had really been struck by the idea. Being a bit of a runner myself… the thought of running a marathon seems completely out of reach… a 14 year old boy running the Boston Marathon and winning it – well that caught my attention. As usual, I’m getting ahead of myself…

The film is about a 14 year old boy whose mother is ill – he decides that to bring her back around, he must perform a miracle – and he eventually settles on running and winning the Boston Marathon. The film is instantly engaging… the boy, Ralph Walker (played by newcomer Adam Butcher) instantly takes over the screen and though there are agonizingly embarrassing moments, they are so well acted and so well presented that I didn’t get that “I wish I was dead for him” moment that I so often feel with actors / storylines of / about that age. (You know that feeling – you want to change the channel or just make it stop…).

The supporting cast is impressive… Gordon Pinsent plays Father Fitzpatrick, the school Headmaster / Priest. Campbell Scott (Singles and that Julia Roberts movie where he dies young… maybe called Dying Young?) plays Ralph’s running coach Father Hibbert and he is completely convincing… I can’t think of anyone else that would have played that role as well…(aside: the REAL Father Hibbert was in attendance at the screening) and Jennifer Tilly is great as Nurse Alice, tending to Ralph’s mother in the hospital (plus I love her raspy voice… I love when I have a cold and kind of sound like that).

The movie was filmed/set in Hamilton, ON and features lots of local shots and events (Around the Bay Road Race)… the film also has Gord Downie (one of the audience questions was “would I know anything else by him?”) covering Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, singing against an orchestra, that takes your breath away (see the movie and you’ll understand…). I’m now getting used to sitting through until the bitter end of movies with Greektown so we can see the music credits (“Oh I love this song!!”).

The film has been picked up internationally, through Canada, Europe and Asia, and is set for release around here sometime around the real Boston Marathon… mid-April. It is a must see. Bring tissues. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384488/

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 1:02 PM :: 0 Comments:

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